TRANS-TASMAN PREVIEWS | We've got a look over and made our picks for the opening night of the rep ro...
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The Bulldogs U20 Toyota Cup team have drawn 28-28 in an entertaining match against the Gold Coast Titans at Skilled Park tonight.
The halves pairing of Rhys Jack and Arana Taumata led the team around brilliantly in the opening forty minutes as the blue-and-whites went into the sheds up 24-4.
Tries to Daniel Harrison and Chevvy Penehoe early on got the Bulldogs out in front before Nathan Tannous squeezed inside the corner post to score the 'Dogs third of the evening. Barba slotted it from the sideline and the Bulldogs led 18-4 with nine minutes remaining until halftime.
Just minutes out from the break Rhys Jack chipped for the right corner, finding a high-flying Jamal Idris who lept above the Titans defence before planting the ball down.
The second half saw the Titans come out firing with two tries in the opening 10 minutes. The first came from a Kele Niusere error and the second unfolded after some poor one-on-one defence.
It could have been another try for the home side just minutes later when Bulldogs fullback Ben Barba appeared to knock the ball on only for the referee to rule otherwise.
The man in question soon found himself in space when he zig-zagged in-and-out of the Titans defence before being taking into touch 10 metres into Titan territory.
Trailing 24-4 at haltime the result was looking like a Bulldog blitz. However, just 17 minutes into the second half and the Titans found themselves just two point behind. Their fourth try of the night coming from a well-weighted kick before finishing well.
The home town boys were full of confidence and found themselves in open space soon after only for the support runner to drop the Steeden.
Bulldogs captain Nathan Smith was placed on report for a late shot. From the proceeding penalty the Titans went agonisingly close only to be held up over the line.
Tempers boiled in the in-goal area as punches flew from both sides. Bulldogs prop Liam Roach received some attention on a facial injury while the Titans were penalised for the ugly incident.
The aggression lifted as both sides looked to gain the upper hand. The Bulldogs went on the attack and went close to scoring only for a Rhys Jack kick to roll touch in-goal.
The Titan turnaround restarted with 12 minutes remaining when Will Matthews beat several tired defenders before crashing over to score. The conversion was successful and the Titans hit the front 28-24.
Arana Taumata found himself on his way to a 90 metre solo effort only to be brought to a premature hault for accidental offside.
Nathan Tannous would like to forget what happened next when he was dragged back 15 metres and forced over the dead ball line as the Titans pressed on with five minutes remaining.
A Gold Coast error let the Bulldogs off the hook and Nathan Tannous redeemed himself up the other end of the park as he scooped up a lose ball to score and level the scores out wide. Barba's conversion attempt hit the post and the scores remained 28-28 as the crowd got involved.
Both teams attemped hopeful field goals but were unsuccessful as the two teams played out a 28-28 draw.
Goals: 4 Ben Barba (4/5)